Herbert Cecil Duncan

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Brigadier Herbert Cecil Duncan OBE (19 August 1895 – 20 January 1942) commanded the 45th Indian Infantry Brigade during the Battle of Malaya. During the retreat from the Muar River in Malaya on 19 January, Duncan was badly concussed during an air attack on his headquarters. The following day, during an attempt to break out of a Japanese encirclement in concert with Australian forces, he was killed whilst mounting a counter-attack against a Japanese attack on the brigade's rear.[1] Duncan is buried in the Commonwealth War Cemetery at Kranji in Singapore.[2]

Commissioned a Temporary 2nd Lieutenant in 1914, he got his permanent commission in the Indian Army as a Lieutenant in 1918. World War I service earned him a Mention in Despatches. Having the 13th Frontier Force Rifles as his maternal unit, he eventually served from 1931 onwards as a General Staff Officer in various gradations. He took command of the 45th Indian Infantry Brigade in June 1941.[3]


  1. ^ Thompson, Peter (2008). Pacific Fury: How Australia and Her Allies Defeated the Japanese Scourge. North Sydney, New South Wales: William Heinemann. pp. 229–230. 
  2. ^ "Kranji War Cemetery Roll of Honour: Du". Roll of Honour.org.uk. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 
  3. ^ "45 Indian Infantry Brigade: Command Appointments". Orders of Battle.com. Retrieved 22 December 2012.